Session 4.1 - Making archives accessible through innovation, redesign and digital initiatives


Timoci Balenaivalu, Jeff James, Mijeoung Kim

Date Added:

22 October 2019

Chair: Louise Doyle, Assistant Director-General Access and Public Engagement, National Archives of Australia



a. Designing how Pacific archives are perceived; using empathy and experimentation to make archives more “relevant” in a resource poor environment, by Timoci Balenaivalu

Pacific archives have low visibility and trust from society. To counter this, the National Archives of Fiji has used empathy and experimentation to build bridges that connect it with communities in tangible ways, and to find partners to collaborate with on matters of mutual interest. This is making the archives more accessible, and slowly growing confidence of stakeholders that the archives are of relevance.


Timoci Balenaivalu

Timoci Balenaivalu is Acting Principal Archivist National Archives of Fiji. Timoci joined the National Archives way back in 1994 as an Archives assistant. He has risen through the ranks and is now assisting the Director National Archives of Fiji in the daily operation of the Institution. He has been actively involved in the outreach programs in the last ten years to the Fijian communities as well as providing feedback for improvement, allowing maximum use of the archive and providing the community a clear visibility on the important role it plays.

b. Creating Archives for Everyone, by Jeff James

This presentation will chart The National Archives journey to change the way that people think about archives. It will look at:

  • Sources of inspiration – national tour of libraries, museums, archives and theatres
  • Our Audience development strategy – understanding our current and future audiences
  • 'What’s On’ – new models of public engagement for archives
  • The Masterplan – working with AOC
  • Thinking about our brand
  • Project Welcome
  • The National Archives Trust
  • Archives for Everyone


Jeff James

Jeff James has overall responsibility for The National Archives’ future direction as well as current performance, and is accountable to ministers for both. Jeff started his career as an electronic engineer in the Royal Navy. He has held operational management roles at the University of Leeds, Swift Research and the British Library. He spent six years as Director of Operations and Services at The National Archives before joining the Chartered Institute of Housing as Deputy Chief Executive and Director of Operations. Jeff returned to The National Archives to take up the role of Chief Executive and Keeper in July 2014. He also holds the offices of Queen’s Printer of Acts of Parliament, Queen’s Printer for Scotland and Controller of Her Majesty’s Stationery Office (HMSO). He is the current President of the ICA Forum of National Archivists (FAN).


c. Agora of Archival Culture, MiJeoung Kim

The National Archives of Korea is carrying out various activities to familiarize the citizens with archives. It also organizes special education programs for civil servants, curriculums for fostering archivists and archival culture experience programs for local residents and elementary and junior high school students.
 The National Archives of Korea has tried to develop customized contents for citizens who have various levels of understanding archives. For youth, there are several programs such as permanent preservation practice, microfilm practice, and archival facilities visit for understanding process and procedures of record management. These programs are aimed to encourage citizens and younger generation to transit from passive users of records to those that constitute archival culture together.
 The digital age has arrived. A vast amount of records are being produced each day. The format of the record is also diversified. A creative idea is needed for new definition and management of records that deviate from existing forms. The National Archives should provide citizens with advanced information about the records and create physical agora and cyberspace for discussion of managing digital records. In this space, citizens will be able to contemplate the challenges of national records, discuss alternatives, and implement the alternatives with experts. The National Archives will not play a leading role in this change, but will have to create space, promote and catalyze.
This presentation will share the purpose, operation status and future direction of the citizen program of the National Archives.


Mijeoung Kim

Dr. Mijeoung Kim is archivist of Korea National Archives. She has 10 years of experience in the field of Archives. Kim received her PhD at Korea University. She obtained Master and B.A. from Korea University. Her doctoral thesis is “Wartime women’s labor mobilization policies of Japanese Government General of Korea and the actual aspects”.